For most people the idea to make your own toothpaste is totally alien but actually it is dead easy and frankly, it couldn’t be better value for money. It is probably a powerful step towards reducing or eliminting fluoride from your life as well. Besides fluoride, GMO ingredients have found their way into conventional products of personal care, such as our toothpaste, shapmpoo and soaps. Therefore you have many important reasons to give this simple solution a try. You won’t regret it…
The most important thing with homemade toothpaste is that you have 100% control over the ingredients so you skip all the dangerous chemicals commonly used for commercial toothpastes. A few toxies that you will conveniently and happily avoid are:
- · Triclosan: affects thyroid, linked to cancer, promotes development of resistant bacterial strains
- · Fluoride: responsible for teeth and skeletal fluorosis
- · Diethylene glycol (DEG): poisonous odorless substance causing gastrointestinal and neurological disorders, kidney failure and even death.
- · Preservatives
- · Artificial colors
- · Sweeteners
The recipe that we use in our home consists of only 2 ingredients:
Baking soda and powdered unrefined salt.
You mix these ingredients 3:1, which means that for every 3 spoons of soda, you will add 1 spoon of salt. By following this simple proportion rule, you can scale the recipe quantities up or down, depending on how much you want to make. This recipe makes a dental powder, which has little (if any) resemblance to the commercial toothpaste we are used to. The advantage of dental powder is that it travels well. If you travel by plane often you will come to value this property a lot. You can basically use it by wetting your toothbrush and sticking it into the jar with the toothpaste, making sure the powder sticks on the hairy side. You don’t need a big quantity to clean your teeth with this toothpaste. No comparison with the traditional toothpastes whatsoever. Trust me, the feeling of clean teeth you will get will be a very pleasant surprise.
If on the other hand you want a texture closer to the traditional toothpaste, fear not! By adding glycerin to the solid mixture until it reaches the consistency you like is a great and natural way to alter the texture to your liking. For the example of 3 spoons of soda + 1 spoon of salt, you want to start with 3-4 spoons of glycerin and customize as needed. Some people will like the texture more liquid, so 5-6 spoons may be a good option. In any case, this is a totally customizable product. For vegans, plant glycerin is available, making a totally respectful vegan product. Another awesome alternative to glycerine, is coconut oil, which is highly recommended for its natural antimicrobial properties. However, if you live in a place with low temperatures for the greatest part of the year, you may want to use a 1:1 mix of coconut oil/glycerin ,since coconut oil solidifies below 76 degrees F (24 degrees C).
If you opt for the liquid-ish version, you can also add a few drops of the essential oils of your choice. Cinnamon, eucalyptus and citrus aromas work well. We don’t use any essential oils, but I have friends using the lemony and cinnamon options and they are very happy with the final result. If you go for this aromatic version, start with the smallest amount of essential oil possible and if the flavor is not strong enough for you, then add more, but always in limited quantities. For example, cinnamon essential oil is very strong and the flavor is totally overwhelming, so tiny amounts can have a profound impact in the properties of your toothpaste.
In some recipes it is mentioned that you can replace part or totally the salt by clay. I have tried this version and within very few days, my gums started to bleed like crazy. While clay is an exceptional detoxification solution, it activates blood circulation and this is why the gums become so sensitive and bleed so easily. Many people who use clay masks, notice that it makes their skin temporarily red. By “attracting” blood to the surface of the skin, clay can absorb the toxins from the inside of the body. The same happens when the clay is in the mouth, even for this short period of time that it takes to brush the teeth. Unless you want bloody gums, don’t add clay in any amount in your toothpaste. Stick to the soda and salt version.
Finally, my last comment has to do with the quality of the raw materials you will use. If you are making homemade toothpaste do go for the best quality you can afford. Apparently there is not much we can do for soda, but the different types of salt and essential oils can be very very different. Use unrefined, unprocessed salt for your teeth, such as Himalayan salt or natural sea salt. For the essential oils use only 100% organic oils, don’t compromise for anything less.